Features and Columns · Movies

Unpacking “L to the OG”: How ‘Succession’ Weaponizes Music

“Handmade suits, raking in loot/Five-star general, y’all best salute.”
Succession Rap Music
By  · Published on November 1st, 2021

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay on Logan Roy’s rap and how the HBO series Succession weaponizes music.

We live in a divided world… But we can all agree that the theme song to Succession (composed by Nicholas Britell) absolutely rules. It’s grand and full of plunky 808s, and it feels like being stuck on a malfunctioning roller coaster. And that’s precisely what watching Succession feels like: a stomach-churning but somehow exhilarating ride through the family drama of America’s corporation-owning 1%.

But setting its theme song aside, one scene in Succession emerges as the musical thesis of the HBO series. The eighth episode of Season 2,”Dundee,” is centered around a celebration honoring aging patriarch Logan Roy’s 50 years running Waystar Royco. Much of the episode’s tension focuses on Logan’s big announcement: a speech in which he (played by Brian Cox) will publically name his titular successor. While Logan’s daughter, Shiv (Sarah Snook), and his rumored favorite and possible romantic partner, Rhea (Holly Hunter), duke it out, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) continues his downward spiral.

Logan’s second-oldest son has reached a low point. And if there were any illusions about the mental state of this broken shell of a man, he proceeds to grab the mic and rap about how awesome his abusive dad is.

Kendal’s “L to the OG” rap is one of the most memorable moments in the show. And there are a couple of wrinkles that make it a moment well-worth dog-earing. As the video essay below highlights, the rap is more than just an embarrassing performance with a catchy beat. It’s a mortifying character beat for Kendall as well as a devastating assessment of the Roy family’s self-image.

Watch “L to the OG: How Succession Weaponizes Music”:

Who made this?

This video essay on how Succession weaponizes music is by The Premise. The video essay channel is run by Chris Angkico and places an emphasis on soundtracks and scores. You can find The Premise on YouTube here. And you can find them on Letterboxd here.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).